Retail and employment – business news 11 August 2020.

11 August 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

We look at the latest retail figures, employment numbers, quantitative easing, covid-19,  markets and other business news.

Here are CPA we want to  share the business news stories we have seen that we think will affect our members and readers. Many of us are busy fighting to protect our businesses and therefore might have missed some of the news that could impact small businesses, their owners and those that sell on credit.

UK retail sales remain robust in July

Data compiled by KPMG and the British Retail Consortium show UK retail sales by value increased 3.2% in July compared with the same month a year ago – the second consecutive month of growth following three months of falling sales. Online purchases accounted for 42% of all sales down from 50.5% in June, indicating consumers were returning to the high street. Separate data from Barclaycard found overall UK consumer spending was down by 2.6% in July, compared with 2019 – the smallest fall in spending since lockdown restrictions were first imposed.

Small shops have shed over 50,000 staff

A survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reveals that Britain’s independent retailers have been forced to lay-off more than 53,000 staff since the pandemic began. Mike Cherry, national chairman of the FSB said: “Thousands of small retail businesses were left with some very tough decisions to make last quarter following months of little or no revenue coming in. As high streets reopen, it’s critical that all of us shop local and support our favourite small businesses wherever possible.”


UK Employment fell by the largest amount in over a decade between April and June, official figures show. Employment decreased by 220,000 on the quarter. This was the largest quarterly decrease since May to July 2009, during the depths of the last financial crisis. Unemployment has not surged as much as feared, because large numbers of firms have put employees on the government-backed furlough scheme.

COVID-19 accelerates shift to more remote working

A survey by PwC found that almost nine in 10 UK chief executives expect the pandemic to prompt a permanent shift towards remote working. Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner at PwC UK, said: “While a large majority of UK and global CEOs believe COVID-19 has accelerated a long-term shift to more remote working, a blend of office and home working is most likely to be the future norm. There are many benefits of people coming together face to face, particularly when it comes to learning and innovation.” The survey also found that UK business leaders were more likely than their international peers to provide financial assistance to staff and support the mental health and well being of workers.

Quantitative Easing

The Bank of England could expand its quantitative easing programme if needed, Monetary Policy Committee member and deputy governor for markets and banking Dave Ramsden said in an interview published earlier today. The pace of purchases under the QE programme would accelerate if “we saw signs of [market] dysfunction”, he said, adding the central bank has “significant headroom to do more QE”.

Covid-19 general news

Global cases of covid-19 hit 20 million yesterday, with the USA, Brazil and India accounting for roughly half of total cases between them. At least 730,000 people with the virus have died.

Tt took six months to reach 10 million cases, 20 million was reached six weeks later.

Indonesia Kicks Off Third Phase of Sinovac’s Vaccine Testing

Russia has registered its vaccine and gone into production despite it lacking the normal testing.


The FTSE 100 was up 0.3% yesterday to 6050 with the Eurostoxx 50 up 0.2%. In the US the S&P climbed 0.27% while the NASDAQ continued its correction, down 0.39%. With Microsoft leading the index down  However at the time of writing the UK and European stocks are up over 2% today. Markets appear to be moving after Donald Trump said he was considering a tax cut on capital gains, also driving a drop in the US dollar against the other majors. Strong Chinese economic data and falling hospitisations in the US are also boosting global indexes.

Positive noises from Saudi Aramco on oil prices and the news that asian oil demand was back to pre-pandemic levels boosted oil as Brent firmed its position above $45. Gold prices have dropped below $2000 as markets turned risk on.

Sterling is at 1.31 USD and 1.111 Euros.

Dutch ‘departure tax’ could derail Unilever’s unification plans

A proposed levy on firms which relocate out of the Netherlands could land Unilever with an €11bn bill. The law is designed to compensate Holland for the loss of tax revenue if companies with annual revenues of more than €750m do choose to leave. Although the legality of the bill is contested and the chances of it being passed are slim, Unilever says it would not be in its best interests to pursue the proposed unification of its Anglo-Dutch structure if the bill were enacted in its present form.

Landlords seek out holiday lets

Landlords are taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday and a rise in the popularity of staycations by investing in properties targeted at domestic tourists. Research by Knowledge Bank shows a sharp rise in inquiries for holiday let mortgages during July. The most popular search among buy-to-let landlords was for loans to limited companies, suggesting that many owners are taking advantage of the stamp duty break to transfer their properties into a company structure. Matthew Corker, of Knowledge Bank, said: “Transferring to a limited company means landlords, especially higher-rate taxpayers, will benefit from favourable tax treatment of their rental income.”


McDonald’s is suing Steve Easterbrook, a former chief executive. The fast-food chain alleges that he lied to the board about sexual relationships he had with three employees and approved a stock grant worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to one of them. McDonald’s, which agreed to dismiss Mr Easterbrook in November “without cause”, wants to recover his $40m-odd severance package.

Homes and estates – targets for wealth taxes?

Harry Brennan provides Telegraph readers with an overview of what a wealth tax could look like, with a focus on a tax on property gains and a new inheritance tax. He cites the Social Market Foundation which has called for a new 10% CGT rate on the sale of homes so older people pay more towards the pandemic recovery. Separately, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Inheritance and Intergenerational Fairness says the IHT system should be abolished and replaced with a new 10% tax for modest estates, with 20% levied on estates worth more than £2m. Tom Elliott of advice firm Crowe UK said: “So few estates pay the tax that it would hardly be a vote-loser if the rate was increased. If anything, such a proposal would be a politically positive step.”

New investigation into NMC Health

NMC Health is being investigated over claims it used fake invoices and forged documents relating to purported medicine sales to obtain credit from banks. The alleged scheme involved the funnelling of loans worth billions of UAE dirhams to the collapsed hospital firm via Neopharma, an outfit owned by NMC founder BR Shetty. The investigation raises questions about oversight from banks and will be another headache for NMC’s auditor, EY, which is being probed by the UK’s Financial Reporting Council over its work for the company. The Financial Conduct Authority is also looking into the collapse of NMC

Select on its knees for third time

The troubled fashion chain Select has been forced to approach landlords for a third time to beg for rent cuts. Select first went through an insolvency process to slash its rent bill in 2018, then went bust last year and agreed a second CVA with creditors in June. Brokered by Quantuma, the deal saved 1,800 jobs. Now it is working with Howard Kennedy on another CVA which the Telegraph suggests will spark fears that store closures and job cuts could be on the horizon this time.

Record profit warnings issued after pandemic struck

A report from EY reveals British travel, leisure and retail companies suffered their worst first half on record this year, with nearly 75% of listed businesses in those industries forced to issue profit warnings. Including businesses in other sectors, EY recorded 466 profit warnings from London-listed companies in the first six months of this year. That compares with 313 in all of last year.

Collymore: It’s not a good look, lads

Former Liverpool football star Stan Collymore hits out at young players for using image rights to shirk their tax responsibilities. In a piece for the Daily Mirror, Collymore says he first heard of the exploitation of image rights about ten years ago, “when Portsmouth’s dirty linen was being aired in public”. He explains: “That was the first time I’d heard of players who wouldn’t even be recognised in their own street, let alone worldwide, trying to use image rights to avoid paying fair tax.” Sunday’s news that 246 players were being investigated by HMRC, “made me slump in despair,” he says, adding: “Come on, agents and players, you’re getting a great screw these days, even below the Premier League and Championship. This loophole was closed years ago and the taxman will rightly be onto you if you’re not careful.” His comments come after research by UHY Hacker Young showed the number of footballers being probed by the taxman has trebled in a year.

Don’t let Covid-19 bust your business!

It will if your cash flow dries up, either sooner or later.

The Credit Protection Association (CPA) has been assisting thousands of UK businesses to get paid since 1914. We have seen many financial crises, this one will be particularly deadly for suppliers for sometime to come.

CPA eases cash from tardy debtors – Efficiently, Effectively, Economically and Ethically. Above all tactfully, because maintenance of goodwill is paramount.

To meet the needs of creditors in the current crisis, we have designed a “critical care” package especially tailored for the situation.

  • The annual package costs start at very low rates
  • A minimum performance warranty is provided
  • Several complimentary services included

Clients instruct CPA on-line via their PC or phone, completely user-friendly. Your late paying customers are told to pay you direct (not to us).

A very recent report shows a 23% increase in the number of unpaid invoices since March 11th THIS YEAR – are you getting a build-up of late payers?

 Right now, overdue accounts must be a concern and CPA has a great track record of encouraging slow-payers to pay their suppliers quickly.

It takes less than 17 minutes to see how you would benefit, do you have the time now?

No face-to-face meeting required – just call Peter Uwins, CPA’s National Sales Manager, on 020 8846 0000 (business hours) or email today.

When you see your money come in, you will be so glad you used CPA.

Do you sell on credit?

With pressures on the cash flow it is essential that you stay on top of the credit limits you grant customers and watch carefully for any late payments.

Those customers will look for the easiest option  to boost their cash-flow. Don’t let it be you.

You can’t just assume your customers can and will pay you eventually, no matter how big their name is.

It is essential to have credit management systems in place to monitor and check your customers credit worthiness.

It is also best practice to use a trusted third party like CPA to make sure you are paid on time by customers, no matter how good a name they have.

About CPA

The Credit Protection Association can help!

Formed in 1914, CPA has been providing credit management services to SMEs for over 100 years.

At the Credit Protection Association, we provide first class credit information that can help you avoid being over extended to customers who are at risk. Our monitoring service can flag up warning signs long before the end, giving you the chance to adjust and reduce your exposure. We provide recommended credit limits and credit scores on a traffic light system and can help you set appropriate credit policies for your customers.

We regularly publish lists of the latest insolvencies but by then it is too late. Our credit reports however predict approximately 96% of company insolvencies long before they arrive.

Companies in trouble usually have very bad cash flow and they try to deal with it by delaying payment to their suppliers, increasing your exposure to them.

If you supply on credit, help us help you identify the risks.

Why use a third party collector?

As a third party collector, we can also get your payments prioritised over those who are not as hot on collections. When your customer receives a letter from the Credit Protection Association regarding their outstanding account, they are going to want to get that resolved as a priority. Our overdue account recovery service can get your unpaid invoices to the top of their “to do” list and get your invoice paid.

Over the years we have collected billions in overdue invoices for our customers.

Our debt recovery and credit management services give our members the financial freedom needed to grow and prosper, while our new Late Payment Compensation department could unlock hidden potential and offer the compensation needed to springboard your business to success.

You might be hesitant about contacting a debt collection agency. What are they going to be like?

Can they help your particular type of business?

There is no need for concern. CPA are courteous, helpful and very probably have had direct experience of working with your type of business.

Debt collection agencies are not all alike.

Success lies in both recovering money and keeping customers happy. The Credit Protection Association was founded in 1914 and  has helped tens of thousands of UK businesses to collect outstanding payments and reduce the risk of incurring bad debt. We believe that creditors deserve to be paid for the work or goods they have supplied but we fully understand the need to maintain
the best possible relationship with customers!

At The Credit Protection Association, we provide solutions, advice and back-up in all areas relating to the supply of services or goods on account. Client-members receive everything they need from a single source to reduce debtor days and write-offs.

The Credit Protection Association has helped has assisted tens of thousands of UK businesses with their credit control requirements, since the First World War.

We are polite, firm and efficient when it comes to recovering outstanding debt.

“We have used CPA for a number of years now. The website is easy to navigate around with lots of helpful reports. The staff are always at hand and very friendly. CPA has  helped us reduce our debt over the years and keep track of potential issues with our customers.”
~ CPA client in Buckinghamshire

“The service from CPA has proved to be everything that you said it would be. We have already seen a huge benefit. We have had a number of overdue accounts paid promptly and directly to us. It is also a huge weight off our mind to know that once we have passed an overdue payment over to you, you take care of everything whilst keeping us informed.
~ Credit Controller client in Warrington

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections


Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

CPA is passionate about late payment

The Credit Protection Association has been protecting smaller firms against poor payment practices for over 100 years.

We are extremely passionate about breaking the late payment culture that holds back the UK economy and threatens many SMEs with cash flow difficulties being the single biggest killer of Britain’s small businesses.

If you were regularly paid late we can help. Those former customers used you to boost their own cashflow, regularly paying you late.

As a result you had extra costs, you had the distraction of having to chase payment, you had opportunity costs because your capital was tied up in their late invoices.

Under little used legislation, you are entitled to compensation for those late payments.

Now you can boost your own cash-flow.

CPA can help unearth the those hidden treasures.

We have the technology to reveal the compensation you are due and we have the extensive experience and expertise to then turn those claims into cash.

Yes, CPA can help you boost your business cash-flow.

Don’t let your bankers control you, contact CPA today.

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections

Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

The “Why” of the late payment culture.

New PM should walk the walk and back small firms over late payments

Paying late is “crack cocaine” to big business.

Late payment culture risks “spiraling out of control”

visit our late payment compensation page

See our full blog and FAQ on late payment compensation

Do you realise you could be sitting on a fortune?

Late payments often result in a cash flow crunch and leave SMEs in need of a cash injection.

If you sold B2B on credit then there may be a hidden source of capital you can call on.

If you fancy an bit of extra cash in your business, rather than jumping through hoops with your bank, you could look to uncover the resources from an unexpected source within your own business.

Not many are aware but there could be a hidden fortune within your business, sitting there, just waiting to be uncovered and released.

We can help you uncover the pile of gold, you didn’t even know you were sitting on.

If you trade with other businesses and were often paid late then you could be entitled to significant compensation.

Under little known and under-utilised legislation your business could be due huge amounts in compensation that you didn’t even know about.

Let’s be clear – this is not a way to weaken any customer relationships you value. It is one that identifies who’s been paying late and then recover the potentially significant sums in compensation using Late Payment Legislation from businesses where the relationship has already ended.

You can pick and choose who you want us to follow up – but once we’ve agreed which companies you’d like to pursue compensation from it’s a fast process and there’s no financial outlay to you whatsoever. My team at CPA put its expertise to work to recover the compensation due and fight late payment culture.

That compensation could provide the cash boost your business needed.

But don’t delay, that compensation evaporates if not claimed within six years of the late payment.

How can CPA help?

CPA has developed a unique technology to dig into your accounting records and discover the cash injection you are due by means of compensation. The software does all the hard work. Our software interacts over the cloud with over 300 different software packages, working directly with your accounts package, just so long as it’s stored on a computer.

We recognise that most companies do not have the resources to spend time on the identification and calculation of Late Payment Compensation. Our service can produce an Analyses within just a few days with (usually) less than 30 mins of co-operation from our clients. We work directly with over 300 accounting packages but can also work with bespoke accounts packages. Indeed, speed is essential as the oldest invoices may fall foul of the 6-year time limit.

Once the Sales Ledger Analyses is made available to clients, all that is required is that management decide which commercially sensitive ex-customers to remove from the list and return it to us.

CPA then uses its years of collection experience to explain and recover the Late Payment Compensation Claims. Clients do not handle any part of the recovery process as our team will take all communications from the companies against who the claims has been made. Often, it’s simply a case of explaining the legislation, sometimes we have to go all the way and enforce the legislation through the courts.

The result is that we are realising clients’ claims worth tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds which, of course, is pure net profit.  You may also be among the recipients of “hundreds of thousands of pounds” should you elect to take advantage of our services.

We do the work, you receive the cash.

If you have supplied goods and services to businesses on credit and were regularly paid late then you could be due significant sums in late payment compensation.

We are talking to companies and unearthing claims in the hundreds of thousands from former business customers who paid them late. Large business customers who abused their power to inflict unfair and sometimes illegal payment practices.

We are helping business owners  who are looking to boost the returns from their business before they retire. We are helping businesses who have lost major clients after years of loyal service to get properly compensated for systematic late payment. We are helping companies that were looking to close down, who looked insolvent and finding that cash injection they need to avoid insolvency.

Those former clients who regularly paid you late can finally be made to pay.

Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

The Credit Protection Association is a credit management company established in 1914. If you supply goods or services on credit then we can help you!

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections

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Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

25 excuses for late payment and how to get around them.

Read our Cash Flow Advice

Read about our overdue account recovery service

Read our blog – What is credit management?

Read our blog – How to select a debt collection agency

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see our blog – 15 steps to avoid invoice fraud

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As insolvencies rise, could you spot these warning signs in your customers?

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections